Mastercard and Alienware make a major branding move with Riot Games’ League of Legends

There’s a reason you can’t tune into sports ranging from motor racing to professional tennis to competitive table tennis without being bombarded by logos of brands like Rolex and Pennzoil. Multinational corporations pay big branding dollars to have their names stamped on everything from cars to banners hanging courtside at Wimbledon.

In extreme cases—e.g. European hockey—players often end up looking like human billboards, their jerseys and helmets emblazoned with corporate logos.

The power of branding isn’t lost on power brokers immersed in the world of esports. Recall a couple of weeks back when JBL announced that it had signed on as the official headset provider for 100 Thieves. For anyone who follows the esports powerhouse, the name JBL now represents the go-to, got-to-have-it gear.

Given the extensive global reach of esports, that’s a multibillion-dollar market with infinite potential. And that obviously hasn’t been lost on multinational brands Mastercard and Alienware, both of which have just entered a partnership with League of Legends and its parent company, Riot Games.

The LoL game developer has announced a somewhat unique branding initiative that will be rolled out during the upcoming Summer Split competition. Fans watching the battlefield action on Summoner’s Rift will see medieval-looking banners stamped with Mastercard and Alienware logos. Players won’t see them, however.

“From our live events, to our online broadcasts, we strive to define modern sports by continuously innovating how audiences experience League of Legends,” Riot Games head of global esports partnerships Naz Aletaha said in a press release. “For the first time in League history, SR Arena Banners put our partners’ brands directly on the field of play, creating an immersive experience that echoes the energy found in major sports arenas.”

Each of League of Legends’ 12 regions will have unique sponsors advertising in the game. Move over Wimbledon, NASCAR, and the Russian Women’s Hockey League, because you’ve got serious competition.

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

Leave a Comment